Do Your Tyres Meet The Minimum Tread Depth?

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Recent research suggests that as many as 10 million tyres that don’t meet the minimum tread depth required legally have been driven on each year, breaking the law and putting the lives of drivers at risk. Many drivers in the UK are travelling daily on illegal and dangerous tyres. As many as one in four drivers could have multiple tyres with a dangerous tread depth that doesn’t meet the minimum legal requirement. How do you know what your tyre depth is and what is the minimum allowed legally for driving? Here we explain when you need a tyre fitting.

What is Tyre Depth?

The depth of a tyre is measured by the thickness of the rubber between the gaps in the tread pattern on your wheel. The tread depth of your car should be at least 1.6mm deep to be considered safe, however, it is recommended that the optimal tyre depth is 3mm. Anything below 1.6mm is illegal, though you shouldn’t wait until your tyres get to this depth before getting a new tyre fitting. Most manufacturers nowadays make tyres with a built-in Tread Wear Indicator (TWI), which is between the gaps in the rubber of your tyre and becomes visible when the tyre is worn down. While this is a beneficial feature that helps you know how bad your tyre wear is, it is important to check your tread depth regularly and have your tyres checked by a trusted professional to be certain.

Consequences of Driving on Minimum Tread Depth

The consequences for driving on tyres that don’t meet the minimum required tread depth is extremely serious. For every offence of tyres not meeting the legal requirement, there is a fine at level 4 of the standard scale, discretionary disqualification and 3 penalty points on your driver’s license. As it currently stands, level 4 means a £2,500 fine for each faulty tyre, as each tyre is considered a separate offence. For example, two faulty tyres equal £5,000 in fines and 6 points on your license.

On top of the hefty fine you could also face other serious consequences, such as:

  • Cause a serious accident, injuring yourself and others in the process.
  • Less grip on the road, giving you less solid handling of the car, which can result in a serious accident.
  • Tyres that flatten quicker and increases the chances of bursting whilst you are driving, leading to a serious accident.
  • An increase in stopping distance and a likelihood of losing control of your car in non-ideal road conditions.
  • Instant invalidation of your car insurance.
  • How Do I Know If My Tyres Are The Legal Depth?

    The 20p Test.

    Place a 20p piece into the tread gaps on your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the coin is largely visible, you will need to get your tyres checked with a local professional as soon as possible for a new tyre fitting

    Air pressure

    Check in your car manual for the correct tyre pressure for your car. Air pressure can be an indication of wear on your tyres. Check your tyres regularly, at least once a month to make sure your air pressure remains at a normal level. If you find the air pressure is going down rapidly you should get your tyres checked.

    Tyre Condition and Wear

    Drivers are advised to look out for signs of irregular wear on their tyres. This includes lumps or bulges, which are indicators of wear or damage. Checking this regularly means you won’t be driving around of damaged, illegal tyres.

    Tyre Fitting at NMT Garages

    If you are concerned about the tread depth of your tyres, it is important to get a new tyre fitting or replacement as soon as possible. At NMT Garages, we understand the importance of maintaining the good condition of your vehicle and can offer tyre fitting quickly. To book yourself in for a tyre fitting, or to find out more about our other services, get in touch with the team at NMT Garage Services. You can fill out our online contact form or give us a call on 01234 355 888 and our highly skilled and professional mechanics can ensure you get the assistance you need.

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